One of the biggest fears around game streaming services is that without a physical copy of your game in-hand, what happens when a company decides to just stop making a title available one day? That's the situation now staring GeForce Now users in the face, as much to the woes of Nvidia, Activision Blizzard — the maker of the famous Call of Duty series — is pulling all its titles from the streaming service.
Even the users who subscribe to the paid Founders tier costing $5 a month will lose access to these games until the two parties strike a deal to bring the software back. This is perhaps the most significant downside of streaming services — both video and game — where titles can get a limited run due to the nature of licensing agreements. GeForce Now’s arch-rival Google Stadia handles such a situation better as it provides the existing purchasers with continued access to their games, even if the publishers chose to pull them from the platform, which makes them unavailable only to new users.
Addressing some of the user concerns after the original post went live, Nvidia, in another thread, explained that it’s working with Activision Blizzard in the background to clear both “technical and business hurdles” to bring back the older catalog and add subsequent releases to its platform. But don’t get your hopes too high as it’ll likely take a while. In the meantime, all titles from the developer will stay inaccessible on the cloud gaming service, which went public as recently as February 4 after a free beta trial spanning about two years.
Nvidia told Bloomberg News that Activision Blizzard wanted its games pulled from GeForce Now because the existing agreement between the two companies only applied to the GeForce Now beta, and Nvidia mistakenly believed it would continue after the beta period. Activision reportedly wants a new commercial agreement with Nvidia before the games can return.
Nvidia said in a statement, "Activision Blizzard has been a fantastic partner during the GeForce Now beta, which we took to include the free trial period for our founders membership. [...] We removed their games from our service, with hope we can work with them to re-enable these, and more, in the future."